Make-or-break tie for Zim

HARARE - Zimbabwe will be looking to level the series when they take on India in a must-win second One Day International at Harare Sports Club this morning.

The visitors won the first ODI of the three-match series when they edged the hosts by four runs at the same venue on Friday.

Zimbabwe failed to get 10 runs from the last over as the perennial chasing problems came back to haunt Dav Whatmore’s side.

Captain Elton Chigumbura reached his second ODI ton in vain scoring 104 runs from 101 deliveries.

Ambati Rayudu, was India’s hero with his 124 runs after the visitors had earlier slumped to 85-7 inside the opening 24.2 overs.

Rayudu starred in a 160-run sixth wicket partnership with Stuart Binny (77) to lift India out of danger as they went on to set 255-6. Zimbabwe managed 251-7 in 50 overs.

“Obviously tomorrow (today) is the most important game for us to stay in the series,” Chigumbura told the Daily News on Sunday.

“Everyone is looking forward to the match. We just have to make sure that we polish on areas that we didn’t do right on Friday and hopefully we can have a good game in all the three departments.”

The Zimbabwe selectors made just one change for today’s encounter from Friday’s match.

Injured seamer, Tinashe Panyangara, who limped out in the dying stages of India’s innings on Friday due to a side strain will be replaced by fellow pace bowler, Chris Mpofu.

“I think it would be harsh to drop someone after just one game,” said Chigumbura.

“We try by all means to give the guys a good run which also helps to boost their confidence levels.

“If we could have three or four guys performing to the best of their ability in every game we play then we stand better chances of winning games.”

Chigumbura said he is still to get over Friday’s defeat since Zimbabwe were so close to victory in that final over.

“It hurts losing by that very small margin after getting so close. It’s one of those awkward moments where you feel could have been better losing by higher margins — that was disappointing,” he said.

“Looking at Don (Tiripano) who had just come in, I thought I shouldn’t give him much pressure and I was best placed to get a boundary by virtue of being the oldest on the crease.

“I kept believing, I kept backing myself that once I get the ball that I could hit, I was gonna (sic) hit it.

“Unfortunately and fortunately for India, I got a good ball so you can only give credit to the bowler who bowled exceptionally well.”

Givemore Makoni, outgoing convenor of selectors, said the extent of Panyangara’s injury was still being assessed by the team doctor.

“He picked a side strain and he’s not feeling too comfortable to play. He’s definitely ruled out of the second ODI but not sure if he would be able to take any further part in this series, we will work on the advice of the team doctor,” he said.

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